Bananas are a popular snack among humans because they have many positive health effects and boost energy with their natural sugars. Although bananas are good for humans, that doesn’t mean they are safe for other pets. Maybe you want to give some bananas to your cat, or your cat shows interest in eating this fruit. Now the question is, can your cat eat a banana? Is this fruit bad or good for cats? In this article, we explain giving bananas to cats and the benefits and side effects of eating bananas by cats.
Can cats eat a banana?
Yes they can.
The good news is that bananas are not poisonous or bad fruits for cats. Banana is one of the useful and best fruits for cats.
So you can give your cat bananas in moderation. Bananas have many benefits, but overeating can cause problems and make your cat sick.
The rest of the article will explain the benefits and side effects of cats eating bananas.
What benefits can bananas have?
Bananas are safe for cats, but they are difficult for cats to digest. Bananas cannot provide for the cat’s primary nutritional needs. Still, they contain nutrients that make them an excellent snack for a cat’s diet.
The benefits of eating bananas for cats as a snack include:
Potassium: prevent hypokalemia
Bananas contain significant amounts of potassium (100 grams of bananas contain 358 mg of potassium).
This nutrient supports kidney and heart health, essential for older cats, as the likelihood of heart problems increases as cats age.
On the other hand, a decrease in the level of potassium in the blood causes hypokalemia in cats. Potassium helps to transmit electrical signals to body cells. It prevents heart and kidney problems in cats as well as muscle cramps.
You can use peaches instead of bananas to supply the potassium needed by the cat’s body. Read more about peach for cats:
Manganese: Helping to produce better collagen in the cat’s skin
Bananas also contain manganese, which can help keep your cat’s skin healthy. There is about 0.27 mg of manganese per 100 grams of banana. Manganese prevents skin aging and skin problems in cats by helping to produce collagen on the skin’s surface.
Therefore, bananas can help the skin’s health in older cats and reduce the possibility of wounds and skin problems.
Vitamin B6: Improves kidney function
Every 100 grams of banana contains 0.4 mg of vitamin B6, which can help improve kidney health and function.
Vitamin B6 is usually excreted through urine and needs to be replaced. But you should not rely on bananas to replace this vitamin because, as we said, there is a small amount of vitamin B6 in bananas.
It is better to use other fruits to supply b6 because eating too many bananas to supply this vitamin will cause problems such as diarrhea in cats.
High fiber: helps to treat constipation
Bananas are rich in fiber, which can help cats with constipation. Just mash some bananas and add them to your cat’s leading food and water to cure constipation.
Remember that giving large amounts of bananas to your cat in a short period can cause diarrhea in your cat.
Bananas also contain a small percentage of other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, copper, biotin, folic acid, vitamin A, and E.
Other safe fruits for cats with high fiber:
Effects of overeating bananas in cats
If there is a question in your mind about whether bananas are bad for cats, you should know that:
Despite these good benefits that bananas have, their high use in the diet of cats can have various side effects on the cat’s health.
The risks and side effects of bananas for cats include:
High sugar and carbohydrates: the cause of obesity in cats
As we know, banana contains a lot of sugar (100 grams of banana has 12 grams), and overeating causes tooth decay, heart disease, and joint problems.
Also, the sugar in bananas can raise the cat’s blood sugar level and cause problems such as diabetes in cats in the long run.
In addition, bananas are high in carbohydrates, which can cause more calories from this fruit. Getting more calories can cause obesity and related problems. Typically, every 100 grams of banana has 89 calories.
High fiber in bananas: the cause of diarrhea
As we said in the banana benefits section, the fiber in bananas can improve constipation. But overeating can also cause diarrhea in cats.
In addition, fiber is harder for the digestive system of bananas to digest because their digestive system is designed to digest meat and fat.
Remember that if your cat’s diet is balanced and standard, it will meet the need for fiber. For this reason, getting too much fiber can cause digestive discomfort, diarrhea, and even dehydration in cats.
On the other hand, the absorption of fiber in the cat’s body happens slowly, which can make your cat feel full. Still, its digestion is also slow and may cause bloating or vomiting in your cat.
The possibility of causing an allergy to bananas
Some cats may be allergic to bananas. So if you are unsure if your cat is allergic to this fruit, it is better to be careful. Cats allergic to bananas usually show the following symptoms after eating bananas.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to bananas in cats:
- Itchy mouth and throat
- Excessive itching of the skin
- Skin swelling or ulceration
- Mucous discharge from the nose and eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Throat tightness
Note: Of course, this is only possible, and your cat may not be allergic to bananas.
How much and how to give bananas to your cat?
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of bananas for cats, you should know that this fruit should only be used as a snack in the cat’s diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, and their leading food is meat and fat.
It’s a good idea to give your cat bananas every once in a while, but you should never give them bananas daily.
If you give bananas to your cat, it is better to give them in small amounts. You can include one to two small pieces of banana (without peel) in the cat’s diet as a snack.
Of course, this amount is if your cat is not overweight and also likes to eat bananas. Because cats cannot understand the sweetness of bananas, the smell of bananas may tempt them. Otherwise, there is no need to use bananas in the cat’s diet.
Note: Never feed the cat with blackened and moldy bananas because it causes digestive problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can cats eat banana peels?
It is unlikely that your cat will be interested in eating banana peels. But it is better to know that banana skin is dangerous for cats.
Banana skin contains salicylic acid, which causes digestive and stomach problems.
In addition, banana skin poses a choking hazard for cats because it is hard, and cats usually have difficulty chewing it.
Also, the fiber of the banana skin is high, and even if your cat swallows it quickly, it will still be digested slowly. It may even cause a blockage in the cat’s intestines.
Can I give my cat too many bananas?
No, cats should not eat too many bananas. High fiber, high sugar, and carbohydrates in bananas can cause many health problems in cats. Obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and digestive problems are some side effects of eating a lot of bananas.
Can cats eat banana milk?
Not. Never give banana milk to your cat. Cats cannot digest the lactose in milk and are allergic to milk. If your cat eats banana milk, it will have severe bloating and diarrhea.
The bottom line
Although cats can eat bananas and bananas are safe for cats, moderation in nutrition is always the first word. If you give bananas to your cat once in a while, it can also be beneficial. Of course, remember that bananas can be used as a snack in your cat’s diet, not as the primary food. Unlike omnivores that can absorb nutrients from plant and animal foods, cats are obligate carnivores.